Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

GPSA president vetoes BDS bill that called for boycotts of several businesses

GPSA President Megan McCaughan vetoed a bill that called for ASU to enact a boycott against many national companies in accordance with the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement


A Starbucks sign hangs outside of the coffee shop's Gordon Commons location in downtown Phoenix on Wednesday, Mar. 2, 2022.

The Graduate and Professional Student Association President Megan McCaughan vetoed a bill that called for a boycott against many national companies, including Starbucks and Amazon, per Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions guidelines. The bill was vetoed a week after GPSA passed both a bill and resolution for BDS reform.

McCaughan said she chose to veto the bill because of its "massive threat" to GPSA's ability to financially help students.

"If this bill goes through, ASU might have to strip GPSA of this funding to adhere to existing anti-BDS laws," McCaughan said in a written statement. 

In her statement, McCaughan wrote about the specific portion of the bill encouraging a boycott of Starbucks. McCaughan said participating in a boycott of Starbucks could damage the educational opportunities of people in the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

"Over 25,000 students enrolled in ASU's Starbucks College Achievement Program could be on the verge of losing their scholarships — equating to a potential loss of over $250 million," McCaughan said in a written statement. "I'd like to emphasize that this total $250 million estimated loss is more than just numbers; it's a lifeline for thousands of low-income and at-risk students, many of which come from marginalized communities such as our Indigenous populations." 

McCaughan said she invites graduate students to read her official veto and follow-up statements in the GPSA monthly newsletter, to be released on March 1. She also said this week's veto doesn't completely close the door to similar legislation in the future.

"I don't make the decision to veto a bill lightly, especially one that, at its core, ultimately aims to alleviate suffering," McCaughan said. "This veto is not the end of the conversation on this legislation, nor is it meant to be."

READ MORE: GPSA passed BDS reform, boycotts several international businesses

Rowan Moore, a GPSA assembly member who wrote the "An Act to Stand in Solidarity with Indigenous Sovereignty" bill, said the veto was frustrating for the members who already voted in favor of its passage. 

"It defies the will of GPSA Assembly Members who passed this legislation, and it defies the will of our constituents, some of whom spoke in favor of the bill and resolution during our legislative meeting," Moore said in a written statement. "You mean to tell me that updating some forms to implement BDS is a burden? Solidarity requires sacrifice."

Moore released a letter following the veto, declaring his shared "sadness, grief, and disappointment" with others over McCaughan's decision. 

The GPSA Assembly can overturn the veto decision during the next assembly meeting on March 22. 

Edited by Grey Gartin, Sadie Buggle and Angelina Steel.

Reach the reporter at and follow @alysa_horton on X.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on X.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.